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The Morality Clause and What to Do If it's Violated

The Morality Clause and What to Do If it's Violated

/Family-Law/Divorce.aspxWith all of the bad behavior and poor choices seen in the world today, parents have a huge task to teach their children. It is especially hard when the children live in two different households. Imparting good morals and values on your children becomes paramount, especially since your children spend some of their time away from you.

Marital Separation Agreements very often include a “Morality Clause” by consent of both parties involved. When the case proceeds to trial, the judge may include the mentioned “Morality Clause”, but this is not the norm.

The Morality Clause has been used for a number of years to prevent a spouse from living with a member of the opposite sex or having overnight visits with the opposite sex before that spouse has remarried.

Both parties are subject to the “Morality Clause” when the clause is used to prevent intimate relationships before re-marrying. It does often present a problem when only one of the parties involved agrees to abide by this clause. It is very difficult to actually enforce this type of agreement. Providing the evidence of overnight visitors showing a violation of the “Morality Clause” can definitely be a challenge.

In the case that one party has overnight guests of the opposite sex while the child is in their charge, the judge will want proof that damage has been done to the child. When this agreement has been violated, it opens up the legal decision making and parenting time issue again. Usually the spouse who wants to enforce the agreement is the one seeking sole legal decision making power. However, unless the judge sees repeated violations of the agreement, such as multiple visitors of the opposite sex several times a week, it is unlikely that sole legal decision making power (previously known as sole custody) will be awarded to the other spouse. More parenting time to one parent could result.

A “Morality Clause” could also prohibit the use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs when the child is present. A well-qualified family law attorney will be able to help you evaluate your situation and make recommendations in this regard.

If you need assistance with a morality clause, please get in touch at your earliest convenience. At Arizona Family Law Attorneys we’re prepared to help you resolve your situation as quickly as possible.

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